18. DISCOURAGEMENT CAN OVERTAKE AN INDIVIDUAL QUICKLY WHEN HE IS ALONE.
I Kings 19:2-4 - " Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, 'So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.' And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, 'It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'"
Elijah was victorious one day and then praying for death the next; how sad! It's hard to overemphasize the importance of getting encouragement from those who are like-minded. The world can beat a person down. Christian friends (the church) can build a person up (cf. Heb. 10:24,25)!
19. IF YOU THINK YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE LEFT WHO IS FAITHFUL TO GOD, YOU'RE WRONG.
I Kings 19:14,18 - "And he said, 'I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life'...'Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.'"
There are others out there fighting the good fight, too. You may not be aware of them, but God is, and they are out there. Don't despair when it seems like the whole world is against you. Be faithful to God and don't allow yourself to be mentally defeated by the wickedness and infidelity of others. Be strong!
20. TALKING BIG IS EASY; FOLLOWING THROUGH IS SOMETIMES HARDER.
I Kings 20:10,11 - " Then Ben-Hadad sent to him and said, 'The gods do so to me, and more also, if enough dust is left of Samaria for a handful for each of the people who follow me.' So the king of Israel answered and said, "Tell him, 'Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.'"
Ahab's response here is quite humorous. Ben-Hadad learned that sometimes things don't unfold like you think they will or should. It's okay to be confident, but the wise will temper it with humility (cf. Prov. 16:18). This is a difficult point for many--myself included.
21. GOD REIGNS EVERYWHERE.
I Kings 20:28 - "Then a man of God came and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, 'Thus says the LORD: "Because the Syrians have said, 'The LORD is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys,' therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.'"
The Syrians thought that Jehovah's domain was limited to the hills. They were mistaken. The LORD is God of the hills, the plains, the valleys, the sea--everywhere! God sees everything, reigns everywhere, and can deliver victory wherever and however He chooses. All praise be to the Most High!